Earlier this fall, the Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) welcomed Rachel Beerman as their new Racial Justice Coordinator. Rachel’s work will primarily be supporting the JCRC Racial Justice Sub-Committee, chaired by Corey Auerbach, in order to implement the recommendations put forth by the Racial Justice Working Group and approved by the Buffalo Jewish Federation in January.
These recommendations include offering racial justice workshops and engaging in the Jewish Federation of North America’s (JFNA) Jewish/Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Program as an inaugural cohort. Rachel will also be working with CJEL’s Belonging Initiative, which is part of the Buffalo JEDI cohort.
Originally from Buffalo, Rachel graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a Bachelor’s degree in History. After teaching at Tapestry Charter School, Rachel moved to Brooklyn where she was a founder and middle school social studies teacher at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School. In 2015, Rachel moved back to Buffalo with her husband, Danny Brink-Washington, with the intention of opening a new, integrated charter school. She wanted to design a social studies curriculum for the school with a focus on anti-bias and diversity where she could bring students together from all backgrounds. Together with Danny they have two children.
Currently, Rachel is a curriculum designer for Buffalo Commons Charter School, which opens in 2022 for kindergarten and first grade students. Through a comprehensive, equity focused, school model, Rachel is working to create an educational experience for young people that focuses on history, justice, and ensures a sense of personal belonging. Rachel is so excited to start her position as the JCRC Racial Justice Coordinator. “It speaks to my passion of advancing equity for all,” Rachel said. “This is an awesome opportunity, with lots of potential for community growth.
Thank you, Hannah Gabelnick, a senior at Amherst Central High School and a student intern at Buffalo JCRC, for contributing this week’s Spotlight.